OPPONENT: Dallas Mavericks
DATE: October 17, 2018
KEY MATCHUP: First Overall vs Third Overall
BREAKDOWN: There was much debate around draft time between Deandre Ayton and Luka Doncic, but fans won’t have to wait long to see the two face-off. The Coca-Cola & Fry’s Food Stores Tip Off will feature both rookies taking the court. While Ayton and Doncic may not matchup throughout the game, it will provide an inside look at the future of the NBA.
OPPONENT: Houston Rockets
DATE: February 4, 2019
KEY MATCHUP: Devin Booker vs James Harden
BREAKDOWN: The more Devin Booker develops his playmaking ability, the more comparisons he receives to a young James Harden. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer compared the two shooting guards saying that Booker’s “drastically improved” ball handling should help him mold into a Harden-type combo guard. The two will be able to show off their offensive skillsets as they battle it out on February 4th.
OPPONENT: Golden State Warriors
DATE: December 31, 2018
KEY MATCHUP: Josh Jackson vs Kevin Durant
BREAKDOWN: The back-to-back champs return to the Valley, but sophomore Josh Jackson has proven he won’t back down to the competition. Jackson has averaged 22 points, 4 rebounds and 3.3 assists in three games against the Warriors. The defensive-minded wing will have quite the matchup as he goes head-to-head against Finals MVP Kevin Durant.
OPPONENT: Los Angeles Lakers
DATES: October 24, 2018
KEY MATCHUP: Trevor Ariza vs LeBron James
BREAKDOWN: Trevor Ariza is no stranger to Los Angeles after winning the 2009 NBA Finals as a member of the Lakers. Drafted just one year after LeBron James, the two have battled it out over the past 14 seasons. James and the Lakers will come to town on October 24th as the two rivaled franchises will tip-off for the 308th time.
OPPONENT: Philadelphia 76ers
DATES: January 2, 2019
KEY MATCHUP: Deandre Ayton vs Joel Embiid
BREAKDOWN: Size, athleticism, finesse. The evolution of the modern day center has turned into one of the newest trends in the NBA. The matchup between the Suns and 76ers will feature two prime examples of the new big man. Deandre Ayton and Joel Embiid not only match up in size, but their skillset should make for quite the showdown in the desert.